BIRD WATCHERS AND WORD WATCHERS
A Parent’s Diet
No child of mine, I used to cry
Before the stork had fluttered by,
Will ever throw a temper fit,
Or bite or scratch or whine or hit
Or wear a diaper until he’s three
Or sit for hours and watch TV
Or piddle so he makes me late
Or leave his taters on the plate
Or act, in short, like other kids
Who’ve made their parents flip their lids,
But with the patter of baby feet
Are one hundred thousand words to eat.
As I read this poem, I was reminded how Christians are to be “word watchers.” We have all heard of “Bird Watchers” and these are people who like to watch and study about Birds. We need to watch and study our words. Jesus taught us the importance of watching our words when He said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt. 12:33-37). Words can justify or condemn. Words can delight or destroy. Words can direct or deceive. The statement, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is simply not true. Words can hurt. Words can harm. But words can also help.
Therefore, we need to heed what James says: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19).
Thank God for Jesus and forgiveness for misuse and abuse of words!